Is Michael Keaton Returning As Batman In 'The Flash'?

Tom Nicholson
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From Esquire

Almost three decades since he last played Batman, Michael Keaton is reportedly weighing up whether to return as the caped crusader for the first time since Batman Returns.

According to The Wrap, Keaton's in talks to wriggle back into the cape, cowl and sculpted ab bodice, though nothing's confirmed yet and it could yet blow away into the Gotham night.

Keaton would be joining Ezra Miller in The Flash which begins filming next year, and there aren't any details as yet on exactly how prominent Keaton's role would be. It also raises the question of how crossing the Batman streams is going to work, given that Miller's Flash appeared with Ben Affleck's Batman in Justice League. The smart betting's on some DC-flavoured version of the multiverse theory.

Keaton originally walked away from Batman after playing him in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, opposite Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and in Burton's 1992 follow-up. His Oscar-winning Birdman riffed on it too, with Keaton playing an actor struggling to move on from a superhero role which overshadows the rest of his career. Perhaps all that helped exorcise any lingering niggles.

So, just to give you a full audit of who is and isn't Batman right now: as the most recent Batman, Affleck's technically the custodian of the role even if he's tapped out now because of the enormous strain that making Justice League put on him. The Lego Batman Movie is technically more recent, but given that Will Arnett can only really appear in animated form Affleck's got to take precedence.

Robert Pattinson's detective noir Batman in Matt Reeves' The Batman is still in the works, so he's both Batman and not Batman currently. Christian Bale, Val Kilmer and George Clooney definitely aren't Batman, and nobody's tried to tap them up for a kind of multi-Batman team-up as far as we're aware.

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